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Those eager to get some paddling practice in the off-season can attend Kayak Night on the first Saturday of every month at the Roosevelt Swim Center.

Courtesy photo

The water outside might be icy, but there are still opportunities for people to practice kayaking in the winter.

Black Hills Paddlers hosts a Kayak Night at the Roosevelt Swim Center on the first Saturday of every month, with the next event slated for Feb. 4.

"We hold it year-round so people can get their practice in," said Barb Iwan, aquatics specialist at the Swim Center. "As long as the kayaks are clean, come in the back door and have fun."

Justin Herreman, the vice president of the Black Hills Paddlers, said the event is perfect for working on improving paddling skills during a period where they might otherwise get rusty.

"It gives kayakers the opportunity to get practice while the water's solid and fill that need," Herreman said. "We can work on safety skills and other much-needed training during the off-season."

Participants do not need to be members of the Black Hills Paddlers, but they do need to bring their own gear and make sure it is clean for the pool.

Herreman also recommended that those interested in trying paddling for the first time also look into taking a skills class. To sign up for one, visit communityeducationclasses.org.

"It's important to paddle safely, and there are three certified instructors in western South Dakota, so that's a great, safe way to do it," Herreman said. 

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Those able to bring their own gear or borrow gear from a friend, however, are welcome to come to Kayak Night.

"Anyone who has the gear available is welcome to come," Herreman said.

For more information, visit facebook.com/events/1809932595943599.

Contact Max B. O'Connell at 394-8427 or max.oconnell@rapidcityjournal.com

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